Saturday, December 6, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Dumb Things Break People Up

[GARY sits in the booth, wearing a pink tuxedo. ??? sits across from him in a black pantsuit. They are both read faced. Neither has touched their drinks.]
???: Why do you always turn everything into a joke?
Gary: I don't. Most things can stay the way they are. But some things, like this? They deserve it. I've been trying to get you to just crack a smile for years and you're still a saggy, frowny bitch. That? That I want to make into a joke.
???: That's not funny!
Gary: And neither are you. My point exactly.
???: You have to take some things seriously. Be an adult.
Gary: I don’t see a lot of eleven-year-old stand-up comics. It seems to me that humor is an adult thing. Crying? Getting pissy? Those are the things a two-year old does.
???: Laughter isn’t going to pay the bills! You can’t just laugh this off.
Gary: You can’t fight this off, either. We’re fighting right now and all I want to do is walk out the door. People who laugh together want to stay together.
???: That’s typical of you.
Gary: And that’s typical of everybody else. Seriousness is the cliché. At least I’m original.
[GARY looks out the window. ??? exits. After a moment, GARY looks around.]
Gary: When is everyone else going to get here?

Friday, December 5, 2008

"the small T. rex arms were often broken during..."

"the small T. rex arms were often broken during life. This fact suggests that they were poorly suited for whatever the dinosaurs were trying to use them for." -Gregory M. Erickson , Scientific American

Sometimes the world makes it too easy for me. I read a very interesting article ( ) this morning and have laughed every hour on the hour thanks to this one quote out of it. It’s triggered a rare event where I have too many Bathroom Monologue response ideas to actually compose one. Can I get away with a Bathroom Monologue that runs over some of the things that go through my mind in making a Bathroom Monologue? Let’s see.

One: My kid is lying in the middle of the road, bleeding. a heap on the ground beneath a tree, and the tree has a broken limb. This fact suggests he fell. Pointing out the explicit logical connection between two things can easily go over the edge and be hilarious. For instance, if I report, “My son is lying in the middle of the road, there’s blood everywhere and tire tracks are stretching out in that direction,” I don’t need to tell you, “He was probably hit by a motorcycle.”

Two: there's an old misuse of evolution that suggested animals developed traits because they wanted them. The giraffe has a long neck because its parents stretched really hard, you see? And while Mr. Erickson is hardly so ignorant as to mean such a phenomena is true, "whatever the dinosaurs were trying to use them for" summons the spectre of this mis-evolution.

Third: My deep love of explorative sciences, especially any that deal with giant, carnivorous lizards, demands I make fun of this. If it was about trilobites I could pass it up, but the t-rex is my hero. He needs to be immortalized not only as a skeleton in museums, but as something hilarious on a website only twenty people will ever read.

Fourth: I, thanking the almighty that no one is watching, return from the bathroom hunched over, with my elbows pulled into my ribs. The only thing that stifles my roar is the sound of a car passing outside. I hate other people. I miss dinosaurs.

Fifth: I am bombarded by a vast array of things the tyrannosaurus rex might have wanted to do with its arms that failed, leaving them broken.
Fifth A: T-Rex on a rock-climbing wall.
Fifth B: T-Rex on a slip n' slide, trying desperately to stop her momentum at the end of the slide with her tiny arms, only for the arms to snap off like twigs, leaving her to rocket into my aunt's petunias.
Fifth C: T-Rex sitting on a bench, curling weights. Keeps picking up heavier ones to impress the girls. Eventually, he reaches for one that is too heavy for his bone structure. Testosterone defeats men yet again.
Fifth D: T-Rexes thumb wrestling with two fingers. While previously not hazardous, the frustration of being thumbless leads them to rip each other's arms off.
Fifth E: T-Rexes, far more technologically advanced than we believe, build giant robotic arms that fit over their existing arms. Alas, the existing arms snap from the weight.
Fifth F: Wii bowling.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Little Beliefs

McClarry waved to the other leprechauns and whispered, “Guys! Come on!”

Waldgrave led them, crawling on his belly. He came up next to McClarry and peered over the hilltop. His eyes went wide. Mochrie gasped, and O’Donnell inhaled for such a shriek that those around him clamped their hands over his mouth to stifle it.

McClarry looked at them, shaking his head in disbelief. Waldgrave looked over the hill again, but they were still there. Two live children, playing on the swings.

“St. Peter. They do exist.”

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Next, #2

“Yes, you are the third smartest man on the planet, while I’m only the thirteenth. But you only have two minutes to figure out the codes and trajectories of those missiles, stop the gas, and get in contact with three team mates in different longitudes of the globe before everyone on your team dies. That includes you. The third smartest man in the world has two minutes to foil a plan the thirteenth smartest put together over five and a half years, Doctor. It doesn’t take genius to know what happens in two minutes: I’ll be #12. Nice being your arch-rival while it lasted.”

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Fifth Floor, Housewares and Diplomacy

Jangs didn't actually have a top floor to his house. He lived in a hotel, like hundreds of the Golden Emperor's crucial employees. Living in temporary housing and seeing people check out every time you walked in was supposed to remind you to do a good job, or your room would go to someone else. His Majesty was a brilliant motivational thinker.

Bathroom Monologue: Thinking about videogames, looking out the window

My videogame is going to have four playable characters who meet at a backyard barbecue just when the infernal legions of plague-spewing dinosaurs fall from the sky. Our first male character is the typical handsome lithe guy, used to dual-wielding shortswords. He's at the grill wearing a KISS THE COOK apron when techno-raptors drop onto his deck, leaving him to fight them off dual-wielding tongs and a spatula. See, nobody's got their weapons. The second, strapping young lad is chopping wood, and so gets lucky and fights with his maul. But it's got to get more ridiculous from there. I'm thinking the big guy (there's always a towering hulk in these games) comes down the stairs, sees the zombie brachiosaurus stampeding down the street, and snaps off the safety rail from the stairs to double as a quarterstaff. We'll have a female character just for gender dynamics, and as to thoroughly insult the female audience, she'll be gardening. Normally a whip user, she'll got through the first level with a hose. Nice to mix S&M with flower beds. Yeah, I'm totally making this game.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Word-Based Economy

Everyone bashes holidays. It’s become fashionable in our market place of ideas, which appears to have becoming a complaint-based economy. They bitch that Christmas is depressing and Thanksgiving supports obesity. It’s a symptom of a parasitic pseudo-culture, one that lives by denying and destroying but can barely create anything of its own – except guns and books about how other people are stupid, which I guess is somewhat creative, as enough of the attitudes fostered by the latter support sales of the former.

I’m a different sort. When I’m unpleased with holidays (and I am, especially around February 14), I make one up. I like the notions in general – the notion of the rejuvenating holy day, and the notion of the day off (which is twice as divine). I always doff my cap to the Pilgrims for picking a permanent Thursday of gratitude. It’s great that the oppressive Puritans installed the only four-day weekend in the hemisphere.

Halloween is my favorite. Candy everywhere, awesome or awesomely terrible movies on television, and nobody has to be themselves for a night. You can be Julius Caesar, Axl Rose or Zorro. Halloween comes with snacks, a genre of entertainment and an activity. It’s a model day.

I’m a creative sort, so let the word go forth from this time and spacebar that we’re going to have a Reading Day. This is when you take your favorite short story and read it to people. Novellas do not count, nor do stories written by you or anyone you know – that is cheating and I will not like you submarine my holiday with your kid’s crappy fiction. Pick your favorite author – Gabriel Marquez, Eudora Welty, Haruki Murakami, anybody. Pick your favorite story, grab some people, and read to them. You can even give copies of collections to friends and family for the commercial aspect. It will be a big deal for children to become literate soon enough to join their first Reading Day, even if most of them pick The Giving Tree or Good Night Moon.

Comic books will count, but you’ll have to gather a cast to read the other parts for you. You can only be Batman, not the narrator, the Joker and Alfred, too. The point, in the ears of Batman or the teeth of Edgar Allen Poe’s "Black Cat," is to gather (which, I guess, is more of a "House of Usher" theme). Gathering is essential to festivals.

We’ll put it on December 1st, to piss off the National Novel Writing Month people. I don’t mind the competition with the late-December juggernauts. A little competition between Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Eid-ul-Fitr and New Years turned them all into Happy Holidays. But instead of “On Dasher, on Dancer,” it’s on Kafka, on Kaufman, on King, on O’Connor, on Zelazny, on Barthelme, on Borges, on Hemingway, and of course, on Robert Frost’s On Writing.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Shadow of the Valley of Death

Livington is a wonderful town with a great view of the Purgatory. In the mornings the shadow of the Valley of Death passed right over them, but even this sight doesn’t help Livington’s poor tourism. You see the town council of Livington spent the entire treasury keeping any new towns from cropping up in the locale, zoning out developers who would block the view. They put their last pennies into advertising, but it didn’t catch. The ad was in Psalm 23 of “the Bible,” a very popular circular back in the day. With tourism being nearly non-existent, the town is pinning its budgetary hopes on suing the studio behind Pulp Fiction for cribbing from their ad.
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